The 10 Universal Principles Applied

I only recently started reading Cori’s blog – Olive to Run – but it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Cori writes on a range of topics and she always inspires me. She’s a teacher so I thought that it would be perfect to have her here while I was away for my teacher training program. I’m so excited to have her here today!


Hello, I am Cori from Olive to Run. I am a runner before sunrise and a teacher by day time trying my hardest to find balance in life and inspire others along the way. My blog is a mixture of my daily life experiences, thought-provoking activities I incorporate into my classroom and reflections on my training whether it be a half marathon, a marathon, or for 2014, a 1/2 Ironman.

To say I was honored that Christine asked me to guest post for her is an understatement. I haven’t told her this yet (until now) but when she took a month off to surf the waves in Hawaii I realized that she is one of the top people I enjoy hearing from. I hope today I can provide you with at least an ounce of what Christine provides me with her written work.

If you paid attention above you realize that I am not a “yogi” myself but I absolutely love seeing the crazy poses Christine maneuvers herself into daily. I do enjoy hot (bikram) yoga on occasion but it has never been an exercise that I practice in my life regularly. HOWEVER, the fundamentals and principles behind YOGA are applicable to many areas of my life as I’m sure they are for you as well. Today, I am here to share HOW we can put those principles to play across all athletic platforms.

I am aware that I am less than skilled on all of the Yoga specifics but for today I am going to be using The 10 Universal Principles by Jackie Dumaine.


1. Ahimsa- Kindness and Compassion Towards yourself and others in words, thoughts and actions.

It’s the “Towards yourself” part that I struggle with. As a teacher I work very hard to create a classroom that is safe, comforting, kind, and compassionate towards others, yet I don’t always treat myself in this way. I find myself regularly hearing negative voices in my head targeting the areas that I view as weaknesses. Notice I said the areas that I view as weaknesses. Many of these same qualities are the first qualities my husband, family members, close friends would view as my positive qualities or traits. Remember: It is when we show genuine kindness to ourselves that we are able to show genuine kindness to others.


2. Satya- Truthfulness Living in integrity. Speaking your truth, being authentic. Not lying to yourself or others.

This is something that I view as essential for all areas of our lives. When we let others see our true self we are opening ourselves up to be vulnerable and as Brene Brown says, “Vulnerability is our most accurate measure of courage.” Letting others in and showing them your true colors helps you not only grow as a person but it helps you connect to others in a way you may have never thought possible. I admit to my students at the beginning of every single year that I don’t have all of the answers and if something they read, hear, see doesn’t seem “right” to ASK for proof. I teach them to be critical thinkers and to appreciate the idea of life long learning because those are two qualities they need in order to achieve true success.


3. Asteya- Non-Stealing Taking only what is yours. Not stealing opportunities from yourself or others.

“Not stealing opportunities from yourself”. Many people, (even students), that I speak to about opportunities they pass up on are usually done so as a result of fear. We strip away our own ability to have happiness, adventure, and success because we are fearful. For those of us who have let fear take a backseat in our lives, we can speak to the joy that one can find in the ability to take back control and step outside of our comfort zone.


4. Brahmacharya- Non-Excess or Moderation Embracing life’s pleasures without reckless abandon. Seeing the Divine in everything.

Take the time to be present. Enjoy life’s beauty, embrace it, and take it all in… every single ounce. It sounds simple, because it is simple. Stop, and just BE.


5. Aparigraha- Non-attachment, Non-Greed Not defining yourself by your possessions. Letting go of the need to control thoughts, people, outcomes.

This hurts for those of us who are known as someone who needs to have control of every situation- this is me. Growing up I had no idea what to do when I lost control over a situation, often times I still don’t but I seek guidance and have found that letting go of control produces the same joy and opportunity that releasing fear does since for me, they are one in the same.

little things

6. Saucha- Purity and Simplicity In all things: Body, Mind, Spirit & Surroundings

For me, this means taking time to focus on the little things and to appreciate what those every day surroundings encompass. If you truly take a moment to look around you, you would see how amazing the world really is.


7. Santosha- Contentment Finding the joy and happiness with where you are and with what you have in this exact moment.

Every morning when I run I make a point to think of things that I am thankful for in an effort to take the focus away from all that I want, am striving for, and THINK I need and place my focus back on what is important- all of the blessings that are already in my life each and every day. Try this: when you wake up, before looking at your phone or rushing out of bed list at least three things in your head that you are thankful for.


8. Tapas- Burning Commitment, Self-Discipline Embracing the struggles that help you grow. The determination to go on when faced with obstacles and challenges.

Discovering who we are leads to challenges and obstacles but it is how we react to those struggles that really lets our light shine. The truth is, embracing struggles and recognizing their importance only brings you closer to finding out WHO you are and WHO you want to be.


9. Svadhyaya- Self-Study Observing your actions, your ego and continuously seeking out opportunities to learn about your Self.

I tell my students on a regular basis to “check yourself”. I should probably point out that I work with fifth graders who are fully aware of what I mean by that statement. It means they are creeping up to the line that they should not and do not want to cross. We need to be in this mindset- to check in with ourselves regularly, especially when we see we are approaching a dangerous ledge.


10. Ishvara Pranidhana- Surrender Acknowledging that there is a Divine force at work and having faith that it will lead you on the right path. Learning to live in the “Flow” of life rather than fighting against the current.

“Like they say, faith it til you make it.” If you need proof, look around you.

Choose one of the Ten Principles above and share how you apply it to your life daily.

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  1. says

    So funny how I wanted to jump straight in and tell you the principal I most need to work on and yet you asked us to share how we apply one of the principals to our daily life. Now i am going to be kind to myself and tell you how I embrace and live No 4. Brahmacharya- Non-Excess or Moderation Embracing life’s pleasures without reckless abandon. Seeing the Divine in everything. Since taking up photography and deciding to write my own blog I have found joy and value in truly and completely embracing life’s everyday pleasures. The changes in seasons , the splashes of sunlight in my dining room only if I am awake early each day, the sweet smell of different shower gel to liven my mornings, the quirky notes and smiley faces my kids draw me…………..

  2. says

    Christine! Thank you for introducing Cori. I like the way she thinks!

    Cori… I love the way you took the principles and made them relatable. Brilliant. I myself am a former teacher, with a bit of a control issue. It must be a pre-requisite for the job… so many of us share the control stuff. I am stuck on 8…tapas… trying everyday to look at the struggles as important steps to growth. Some days are better than others.

    You’ve inspired me to get on my mat this morning. Thanks for the great post.
    Martha recently posted..The Most Fashionable GrandmotherMy Profile

  3. says

    I’ve never actually seen these but I really love them. So much to ponder, here! I think I stink at accepting the here and now….I am always trying to control my environment, to be sure. But at the same time, I kind of rock at number 8, which I guess makes sense–a little control in there, right?
    misszippy recently posted..Intuitive racingMy Profile

  4. says

    Love this!!! Great post (as always, Cori!)!!
    I think #8 is the one that I normally feel is my strongest but occasionally (like now) it goes and then I struggle with all the rest – funny how all the principles build on each other.
    Kim recently posted..Wacky WednesdayMy Profile

  5. says

    A lot of them, but #5 probably most of all. I’m a natural born control freak. Like you, I didn’t know how to manage that tendency when I was younger and less mature. Time has taught me so many lessons, but I still struggle with it.

    Love this post … I feel like I need to read through it several times to absorb all the good information.
    Shana Norris recently posted..Unwired Challenge, Part 4My Profile


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